Friday, 15 May 2015

Man Utd Vs Arsenal

Sun 17 May 2015, Old Trafford
Referee: Mike Dean


Match Preview

Arsene Wenger has stressed the importance of avoiding a UEFA Champions League play-off spot as Arsenal visit Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday.
Arsenal travel to Old Trafford knowing that a first away league win at United since 2006 will secure them a top-three finish ahead of Louis van Gaal's side, taking heart from a 2-1 win there in the FA Cup in March. Arsenal have contested a play-off in seven of their last nine UEFA Champions League campaigns and edged through 1-0 on aggregate against Besiktas at the start of this season. But victory over United would seal direct qualification for the group stages, which would please Wenger.
"It's very important for your season preparations to not have that kind of stress [about the qualifier] over your head from the first day you start again - it's vital,” Wenger said. "The consequences are always dramatic if you don't qualify.
"What is even more important now is that the international competitions force you most of the time to start the new season without your players.
"You cannot give them a long enough rest when they have played international games. You know that in England we have no break in the winter. That's sometimes difficult to deal with."
Arsenal are two points clear and have a match in hand on United, who overcame Crystal Palace 2-1 last weekend. Only a huge swing in goal difference can mean United miss out on the top four with their six-point advantage over Liverpool with two matches left.
Such a scenario means an objective achieved for Van Gaal.
"I and the board said the goal was to get in the first four positions and we have reached that two games before the end of the season, it's not bad I think,” the United manager said. "But it's also dependable on how we can make a balance in our selection.
“It's not good that I have had to change positions of players because players are injured."
United have more fitness concerns ahead of the match, with captain Wayne Rooney failing to recover from a dead leg sustained against Palace, while Luke Shaw is also ruled out.
Robin van Persie is fit to feature, recovering from a virus to face his former club, while Angel di Maria and Marcos Rojo have both been passed fit.
Arsenal are still without former United striker Danny Welbeck (knee), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mathieu Debuchy (both hamstring), but Aaron Ramsey (knock) should play.
Manchester United (from): De Gea, Valdes, Lindegaard, Blackett, Evans, Jones, McNair, Rojo, Shaw, Smalling, Blind, Di Maria, Fellaini, Herrera, Januzaj, Mata, Pereira, Powell, Valencia, Young, Falcao, Van Persie, Wilson.
Arsenal (from): Ospina, Szczesny, Bellerin, Chambers,Gabriel, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Arteta, Cazorla, Coquelin, Diaby, Flamini, Gnabry, Ozil, Ramsey, Rosicky, Wilshere, Giroud, Sanchez, Walcott.
Match Appointments
Mike Dean Assistants: L Betts, S Long Fourth Official: M Oliver
Match Facts
Manchester United are unbeaten in seven home Barclays Premier League meetings with Arsenal (W6 D1), since a 1-0 defeat in September 2006.
Having beaten Man Utd in the FA Cup, Arsenal could become the fourth team in history to win twice at Old Trafford in the same season. The others were Chelsea (2004/05), Spurs (1989/90) and Aston Villa (1919/20).
Wayne Rooney has scored six and assisted three in his last seven matches across all competitions against Arsenal at Old Trafford.
Arsenal have won their last five league away matches; their longest winning run since September 2013 (eight wins, their joint-best in the BPL era).


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